Traders work the crude oil options pit at the New York Mercantile Exchange on Friday. The price of oil has fallen by 10 per cent since Friday morning. Mary Altaffer/AP
Silver lining

Market turmoil should make heating oil cheaper for Christmas

Investors are so panicked that the price of oil – which usually does well in choppy markets – is falling dramatically.

THE ONGOING TURMOIL in the world’s stock markets – which are recording yet more heavy losses this morning – could potentially make it cheaper to fill your car and heat your home.

The price of oil futures – which traditionally tends to hold steady, if not rise, during market turbulence – has fallen under $80 per barrel this morning for the first time in almost a year this morning, standing at $78.36 in pre-trading in New York.

Prices had stood at $81.31 at the close of business yesterday. This morning’s fall means the price of oil has fallen by 10 per cent from its closing price on Thursday evening.

This morning’s steep drop marks the first time that oil has cost less than $80 a barrel since September 29 of last year.

By comparison, on April 29, oil was trading at $113.93 per barrel. Oil hit its all-time peak on July 14, 2008, when a barrel cost $145.29.

The drop in prices should take some time to filter through to the petrol pumps and to home heating oil suppliers, the steep drop in prices should mean that in a few months’ time it’ll be cheaper to drive – and to buy heating oil for the winter.

A survey published yesterday found that the cost of motoring had risen by almost 6 per cent in the last year, largely as a result of rising fuel prices.

Earlier: Global stock markets plummet overnight >

More: Dow disaster: 632-point drop is the 6th-worst in history

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